The Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) was established as a small research unit within the Faculty of Arts at The Australian National University (ANU) in April 1990, with Professor Jon Altman as foundation Director. This initiative grew out of a recommendation in the Report of the Committee of Review of Aboriginal Employment and Training Programs in 1985, which called for an increase in economic policy research in the Aboriginal affairs arena. In 1999, CAEPR became one of only six University Centres at ANU, as recommended in the 1996-97 Karmel review of the Centre. This reflected its growing stature, and also signalled' an across-campus and national role for CAEPR. In 2010, CAEPR reached a landmark 20 years as an applied research centre at ANU. In January 2010, CAEPR became part of the Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) in the College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS). Professor John Taylor was appointed Director of CAEPR in April 2010. Upon the retirement of Professor Taylor, Professor Matthew Gray was appointed Director in April 2013.
The Centre is funded from a variety of sources including ANU, the Australian Research Council, industry and philanthropic partners, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), and State and Territory governments. The principal objective of CAEPR is to undertake high-quality, independent research that will assist in furthering the social and economic development and empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australia. It aims to combine academic and teaching excellence on Indigenous economic and social development and public policy with realism, objectivity and relevance.
CAEPR is a unique national and international centre, a leading research think-tank on Indigenous policy issues, and operates in a complex political arena. Since 1990 it has established an unrivalled reputation and track record in a difficult public policy area of national significance. A central goal at CAEPR is to continue to create and build long-term partnerships with Indigenous stakeholders with a view to supporting and working with key individuals and organisations in the areas of research, education and policy development.
Research and education
CAEPR undertakes evidence-based research on a rolling triennial research program. This theoretically and historically informed scholarship is underpinned by rigorous methodology.
The Centre's education role extends to full-time or part-time masters and doctoral scholars, visiting scholars, and our Graduate Program in Indigenous Policy, which is located as a specialisation in the Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development (MAAPD), or the highly flexible Graduate Studies Select Program at ANU.
CAEPR staff also conduct fee for service courses under the auspices of the Australian National Institute for Public Policy, in the form of executive workshops on Indigenous-related topics.
Each year CAEPR staff undertake commissioned consultancies for agencies such as land councils and native title representative bodies, Commonwealth and State government departments and agencies.
All consultancies undertaken by CAEPR staff must be approved by the Director. Consultancies must be closely associated with CAEPR's overall research objectives and consultancy outcomes are published either by commissioning agencies or by CAEPR.